To the Editors of the South Register.
GENTLEMEN— As a juryman on the inquest at North Adelaide this day, I take the liberty of calling public attention through the medium of your columns to the conduct of Mr Nicholls,
the coroner on that occasion, in turning out of the jury room an individual who wished to be present. Mr Nicholls, I think, does not know his duty — that, save in cases where the ens of public justice are likely to be frustra- ted, and when the Croner is warranted in excluding strangers, all her Majesty's lieges have a right to be present at inquests, and the coroner acts unjustifiably in turning any man out of his court, or threatning to commit him because he hesitates to leave it. With great personal respect for the gentleman who was foreman of the jury on that melancholy occa- sion, I must say I expected from him some thing more than a quiet submission to so flagrant a violation of the liberty of the subject —and I hope you will give Mr Nicholls a hint that a repetition of such conduct will bring the colonists together to to take steps for his removal from office.—I am, Gentlemen, Yours, AN OLD JURYMAN. January 20, 1840. [We publish the above letter with very great reluctance, as we think Mr Nicholls, on the occasion referred to, considered that he was properly exercising the discretionary power which, as Coroner, he undoubtedly possesses— although we cannot say that any very obvious reason appeared to us to exist for excluding any one from the inquest. The Court of the Coroner is essentially an open one; and we do not think that officer acts correctly or wisely when he withdraws it from the scrutiny of the public, but under circumstances where, as our correspondent observes, "the ends of justice are likely to be frustrated."—EDS.]
CORONER'S INQUEST.—On Monday last an Inquest was held at the Queen's Head Tavern in North Adelaide, on the body of Samuel Stephens, Esq., late colonial manager of the South Australian Company. It appeared that the deceased, in descending the mountain-road from the Tiers to the plain, had fallen or been thrown from his horse, which had rolled over and so dreadfully crushed his body as to oc- casion his death within half an hour after the accident. A most respectable jury, after hearing evidence to the above effect, returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE IN NORTH ADE- LAIDE.— A meeting of proprietors and resi- dents in North Adelaide, is called for Monday evening to devise some means for preventing a public slaughter house being erected in that neighbourhood. We have no doubt it will be fully attended, and that some measures will be
adopted, which will have the effect of prevent- ing what would not only be an intolerable nuisance, but produce most injurious effects, both to the health of the inhabitants, and to the interest of the proprietors in the northern half of our city. MEETING OF MAGISTRATES.—The annual meeting of Justices for the province for the revision of the jury lists for 1840, was held on Tuesday, the hon. the Advocate-general Robert Bernard, Esq., in the chair. A very considerable addition was made to the lists. Some conversation took place with respect to the nomination of three colonists, by the Go- vernor's recommendation, to form the Board of Audit. It was agreed to defer the nomination till Monday next, and that it should then be decided by ballot, it being understood that no colonists should be balloted for who had not previously consented to accept the nomination in the event of the choice falling upon him. CRIMINAL SESSIONS. — A civil sitting of the Supreme Court is to take place on the 3rd of February, to be followed, it is to be hoped, by a criminal sessions. There are at present 35 prisoners confined, of which 25 are awaiting their trials at the next gaol delivery ; and not withstanding all the care and attention of the governor of the prison, Mr Ashton, we should say the number is too great to be crowded in the limited space the present gaol affords - to say nothing of a certain degree of injustice which distant intervals between criminal sessions inflict - at least upon the innocent. BOTANIC GARDENS.—We regret to learn that the funds for the support of these gardens are insufficient to meet the current expenses, and that unless something be speedily done, either by the Government or the public, the whole establishment must be broken up. An amount rather exceeding £200 has been sub- scribed by the inhabitants, and, we believe, the Government has agreed to allow a sum equal to the subscriptions for its support; but this is totally inadequate to the ends proposed by the institution, than which we undertake to affirm none could be more essential to the present success and future welfare of the colony. We cannot conceive, indeed, any more legitimate expenditure of the public monies than the support of a botanic garden; and, indeed, the liberal sums voted in the other colonies for a similar object shew how they estimate its value and importance, even when it may be supposed that the period of its greater usefulness might well nigh be over. We confess that we have most anxiously de- sired that the colonists generally should have an opportunity of taking their newly-arrived friends who, landing on our shores with mis- givings concerning our soil and climate, and these misgivings not lessened by the exami- nation of garden patches, exhibiting, in the heat of summer, only burnt-up cabbages and the withered leaves of vegetables not fitted for the warmer months of Australia—we should like to introduce them, we say, to a botanic garden filled with plants and trees and fruits congenial to the climate and the season—to show them the orange, the citron, the banana, the vine, the melon, and the maize int he full luxuriance of intertropical vegetables, and encourage them with the fact that they could be supplied with similar fine plants from the liberality of the public at the proper season when they had settled on their farms, or had prepared their gardens to receive them. At present nothing of this kind can be done save in a few private gardens; but that it should be done, and done forthwith, on public ac- count, and on a scale of decided liberality, no man who has ripely considered the subject will be disposed to deny. For our own part, we confess that it would be much more creditable to the colony to have no botanic garden at all than the miserable apology for one which at present exists. EXPORTATIONS TO SWAN RIVER. —We have before remarked that Swan River would never become a rising colony until some line of communication were opened be- tween it and South Australia. We have not yet lost hopes of the discovery of a practicable route overland, and when the rainy season ar- rives, it is probably another effort will be made to discover whether such exists. In the mean- time, we are glad to learn, that the importa- tion of stock, by seas, from this place is about to be commenced. Several large stockholders have chartered the Cleveland, to proceed with bullocks and sheep to King George's Sound, from which port they are to be driven overland to Swan River. We wish the underrtaking every success, and we shall be glad to find that our western neighbours begin to view South Australia with somewhat loss of un- reasonable jealousy than they have hitherto manifested. Since the above was written, we have heard that the Minerva has also been chartered to proceed to King George's Sound with stock.